This Month – January

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This month flew by, and not only because I had to walk very slowly following my shockwave treatment on my achilles tendon. I still owe you all the “Get out of the house!”-post detailing my adventures walking with a cane, but first let’s get the monthly round up out of the way.

On my Goodreads you can see that I am participating in the reading challenge once again. I have again decided to read at least 12 books, as this is a manageable amount of books to read in between all the other stuff I do.

Read – Online

For the people that missed the “David Bowie is…” exhibit, there’s an app.

Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi went viral.

Maybe the 10 years later meme on Facebook wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The Empty Mason Jar of the Influencer Economy: The Case of Caroline Calloway and her Creativity Workshop Tour.

Ballet danser Sergei Polunin entire existence has been a huge mess for quite some time, which has been excused and sometimes even encouraged by many in the (ballet) world because he’s just being a “tormented artist”. The Paris Opera Ballet however is having none of it. I am very curious to see if these consequences will lead to change, but I’m afraid that he will continue to socially, physically and mentally destroy himself completely while his adoring fans keep applauding him. What a waster.

The Not-So-Subtle Racism Behind the Marie Kondo Criticism.

I have written before about the Deciem drama, which has now come to a definitive end now that founder Brandon Truaxe died.

The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter: A cluttered home can be a stressful home, researchers are learning. As a person who’s struggled (and sometimes still struggles) with hoarding tendencies, I say: chicken, egg. I do think it’s interesting that women suffer more from having a cluttered home than men. I’m going to assume that is because women are judged more harshly on the state of their home. Or their everything, basically.

An interesting take on the burn out phenomenon that has become so prevalent in YouTubers these days.

The Gillette Effect: What a Single Ad Reveals About American Men.

For the people who ask me why I, as an (old school) Queen fan have no intention of going to see the “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie: because director Bryan Singer sexually abuses young boys and has being doing so often and for a very long time, something that has been known by pretty much everyone in Hollywood and everyone that follows the Hollywood life. Note: despite the fact that he got fired from the movie (for unrelated reasons),  he will make 40 million dollars from this movie

De Efteling is adapting some of their “racially insensitive” characters in their Carnaval Festival ride.

The American Hotel in Amsterdam will be turned into a Hard Rock Hotel. Has the themeparkification of Amsterdam reached it’s zenith?

Listened to – Music

The Black Parade. Despite knowing this album from a to z to hidden track (especially the hidden track), it all of a sudden made me cry this time.

Marshmello ft. Bastille – Happier Cover (Grace Kelly & Cale Hawkins)

Listened to – Podcasts

I didn’t listen to any English language podcasts this month for some reason.

Watched – Films and Documentaries

Surviving R. Kelly. Even as a music loving teenager living in a not so big town in the east of The Netherlands (yes, this was the 90’s, no, we didn’t have internet yet) I knew through people in the know that he was a mega creep who preyed on young teenage girls. So it’s safe to say that even back then, everybody knew. Nobody did anything about it though, because “musical genius”, whatever the fuck that means. Now everybody is shocked and up in arms, but will anything change? Will this finally be the end of R. Kelly abusing women, more specifically black teenage girls? Or will things just continue as they always have over the last 25+ years? Calvin Michaels has a lot of interesting points about this documentary series.

From a practical point of view, a documentary about Margaret Staal-Kropholler, the first female Dutch architect.

The Mother of Beauty, about a Hollywood modeling agency in the 1940 – 1960, whose owner discovered/created Marilyn Monroe.

Watched – TV and Youtube

Shmoxd (“shmood”) DIYs stuff and makes awesome videos of that.

Making a Medicine Chest with lots of drawers.

Love this art studio!

2019 Bullet Journal Setup + January Plan with Me! I don’t even have a bullet journal, I just watch these videos to relax.

A doll house, from scratch.

Since it’s apparently The Month of the Disgusting Rapist Creep: Harvey Weinstein and the Oscars: How Gwyneth and Shakespeare in Love Won.

Miscellaneous awesomeness

Risograph machines and where to find them.

You wanna wear Amsterdam around your neck? You can.

And of course THE best track to have come out of House of Talent:

Anti-bucket list

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While doing my Year Compass, I at one point started to freak out because “There’s still SO MUCH I need to do!!!” Freaking out like this is not new to me, it of course ties in with everything I wrote about last week. Let’s just call it a hard habit to break. At some point, I decided to write an anti-bucket list, a list of things that I at least didn’t have to do. And while I’m afraid that I’m the only person who thinks my list is hilarious, I’ll post it anyway.

The top 12 things that I, LP, will not be doing in the coming year:

  1. Backpacking (because a top three nightmare way to travel);
  2. Camping, not even to Texel (a Dutch island I’ve been wanting to visit for 33 year, but not in a tent. No tents ever);
  3. Start a housing corporation (because oh boy drama);
  4. Become friends with my upstairs neighbour of 20 years (because [redacted due to mean – ed.]);
  5. Skydive, bungee jump, climb the Kilimanjaro or stand on anything higher than an IKEA Bekväm (because fear of hights):
  6. Go to Nijmegen (because me and Nijmegen, we don’t vibe – Oh, unless the Zooz do a club show there, then I’ll reconsider);
  7. Listen to Africa by Toto (never again!);
  8. Buy Maison Martin Margiela tabi boots (because leather and also costing 2 – 3 times my rent);
  9. Get an extra cat (because Willa is the best cat ever);
  10. Walk in stilletto heels (because still limping around with a cane, more on that next week);
  11. Participate in stupid challenges where you blindfold yourself and do the Kiki dance next to a driving car on the high way or whatever the challenge du jour is (needs no explanation);
  12. And especially for the people who’ve been following me for a long long time: I also won’t be going to Lowlands this year. Like every year.

And because no utterance on the internet is complete without a call to action: dear reader, what will you NOT be doing this year? I am actually really curious!

New Year, New You

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Like every year in January, the slogan “New Year, new you!” was everywhere. Every time I read it, my first thought was “Nah, New Year, exactly the same you”, because we all know that the whole “changing everything that you are from one day to the next”-nonsense is just that: nonsense. I – deadline misser extraordinaire – presented proof of this as recent as yesterday, by letting the deadline of this post fly by like a comet.

But then there’s this little voice deep inside that goes: “But maybe this time it’s different?” Because being an Anxious Person, I of course am the ideal candidate for this type of magical thinking.

During some of the not so great times in my life, my entire existence was an obsessive quest for (self) improvement. My life was ruled by to do lists and productivity, improving myself by any (self help) means necessary. I did this to try and curb my fears, and it worked in the short term. I ticked off boxes and felt better about myself because I was “being productive”, which made me feel like I was worthy. In the long run however, it made things worse. I was never done “perfecting” things, instead my to do list grew with things that I could optimise about my home, my work flow and my personality. With the growing to do list my stress levels and fear level increased. A fear reduction strategy that ends up making you more anxious than you were before: how counterproductive can it get?

On top of that, I have this constant urge to reinvent myself. Part of it is the nature of the beast: I have an easily bored, creative mind that does not get enough artistic freedom and/or stimulation in my current life, so I just change my hair colour a lot instead. And I was of course also heavily influenced by Bowie and Madonna at an impressionable age.

So I understand the attraction of “New Year, new you” like no other. The belief in the illusion that you can completely determine and change everything that you are at all times, the conviction that you can turn yourself into something that you’re not, because you are convinced that if only you were different, you wouldn’t [insert thing here], is a perfect escape. While you dream about what your life would be like once you, magically and all of a sudden from one moment to the next, are completely different from who you are now, you don’t have to occupy yourself with actual change. The type of change that takes work, like therapy, working out, cleaning up your crap, taking a class, working on your projects or finally taking control of your career. The type of change that takes time, energy and might even cost money, and that doesn’t come with a success guarantee, but that is a lot more tangible than quietly dreaming about waking up as one of those cool fashion/music/diy/bullet journal YouTubers with 75k followers on Insta one Thursday morning. While not even having a YouTube channel to begin with. I am definitely not refering to myself here. No way. Not at all.